But as I checked the Seraphapalooza Question List, I see that the next question is full of cheer, for it is about getting Singles to stop moaning about being Single. I hasten to point out that these questions all came from Single women. I personally am cool with listening to Singles moan about being Single--or, rather, reading your emails on the subject. But many people are not, and that includes Single women who are trying to be upbeat and gung-ho and "I can go to Paris without anyone's permission!" about it all.
Since I have spent almost every weekday for the past six years trying to help Singles overcome negativity, I have some insights into how you can do that, too.
1. Ask the shocking question, "What's good about being Single?"
2. Make the shocking statement, "Well, I'd love the right man to come along, but I have to admit I'm enjoying these aspects of Single Life..."
3. Capitalize Single. Don't say and write, "I'm single." Say and write, "I'm Single!" (But not at work or in academic papers.)
4. Consider asking the married women in your group, "What do you miss about being Single?" or, if you think they will smirk at the Singles and say "Nothing! I'm so relieved to be married!", ask "Do married women really have it easier?" People very rarely want to admit they have it easier, so be prepared for some eye-opening stuff you've never considered before.
5. Ask, "What if you were the most beautiful woman in the world, and because of some insane circumstance, you getting married would cause the moon to crash into the sea. What would you do with your life?"
6. Read up on the lives of Single women, both saintly ones, and sinnerly ones, like Greta Garbo. A publisher once turned down Seraphic Singles because some of the Singles I mentioned were not very saintly, or not perfectly saintly. She did not care about my point, which was that successful happy Singles, while not always modelling the Christian life, certainly model satisfaction in the Single state. And, anyway, aren't you stoked that Greta Garbo never married? Greta Garbo!
7. Pay attention to the lives of formerly Single women who married late and were made miserable. This seems like an odd way of overcoming negativity, but I have found that insight into another woman's misery makes me grateful for the life I have. Sure, I would like to have children. No, I would not have liked to have been the mother of [most recent teenage school shooter].
8. Trot out my adventure analogy. Fairy tales usually end with "and they lived happily ever after." Marriage is the end of the story. Nobody cares about Snow White once she's in the palace, installed as Princess Charming. (Possibly there is some trivial day-to-day interest in the kingdom about her clothes and good works.) The only reason why anyone outside Fairyland would be interested in the Charming Family would be the debut of Snow White's lovely Single daughter.
Single people, although your lives are uncertain and perilous, they are full of adventure. But many Married people have ugly monster homes in planned communities and two cars instead. Zzzz. This 17th century attic gig I have is kind of rare, and you'll have noticed I spend an awful lot of time thinking about Single people. It's not just because you need support; it's because you are inherently interesting.
Nobody in the Nine Companions of the Ring was married. The ones who did get married waited until the adventure was over.
9. Being Single means you are free to meet a man (or seek out that religious community) who really makes your heart sing and makes you laugh all the time. It is true that you have no way of knowing if you will meet such a man, but at least if you are Single you will be available if/when he comes along.
And really, I know you are willing to wait because if you really wanted to get married for the sake of getting married, you could do so in a matter of weeks by putting an ad in the paper of any
Add any other suggestions in the combox. Alternatively, write therein what you really like about the Single Life.
Personally, I really miss the laundry chute in my parents' bathroom and my mum's big ol' Canadian washer-dryer set. Now I have to hump a bag of laundry down a million stone stairs and through a damp and haunted dungeon to a gloomy ex-servants' hall and stuff it in a tiny, British washer-dryer that, more often than not, destroys my underwear. When I was Single, all I had to do was shove my clothes down the aforementioned chute and a day or two later I would have clean, sometimes ironed, never destroyed clothes. It was a Single Life miracle.